Tag Archives: indigenous environmental network

Statement from IEN on the Outcomes of the Bali WTO Meeting for Indigenous Peoples

Statement by Tom B.K. Goldtooth, Executive Director, Indigenous Environmental Network On the Outcome of the World Trade Organization 9th Ministerial Conference that ended Saturday, December 07, 2013

Turtle Island, December 09, 2013 - Even though the WTO and its 159 member countries resurrected itself in its first multilateral trade pact in the WTO’s history, I feel it was a desperate fight by rich developed countries such as the United States to revive an economic and trading system that is all about capitalism.

The WTO is all about free trade for the corporations that are destroying our Mother Earth.

The Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) historically participated in WTO conferences, mostly in outside strategies rather than inside strategies. IEN took part in the “Battle in Seattle” at the 3rd Ministerial conference in Seattle, Washington in December 1999 and in Cancun, in the 5th Ministerial conference in September 2003.

At the Seattle WTO 14 years ago, IEN and Indigenous groups came together, (to name a few), such as the Seventh Generation Fund, Indigenous Peoples Council on Biocolonialism, Eyak Alaska Preservation Council, Interior Alliance of First Nations in Canada and internationally, Tebtebba of the Philippines and Movimiento de la Juventad Kuna of Panama to analyze and articulate our position on the WTO. The Indigenous Peoples’ Seattle Declaration was the outcome document of 1999. The Indigenous Statement from the WTO 5th Ministerial Conference in Cancún, Mexico, in September 2003 was not any different in its listing of all the negative effects of the WTO neoliberal trade agreements on Indigenous peoples.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Commodification of Life, Corporate Globalization, Indigenous Peoples, Political Repression, REDD, WTO

Behind the backs of the People of California, Gov. Brown advances a policy harmful to Indigenous Peoples and Mother Earth

San Francisco, Oct. 17 - Governor Jerry Brown of California was slated to receive the Blue Green Alliance’s Right Stuff award for environmentalism in San Francisco this evening but did not show up perhaps because he knew it was going to be protested. Outside of the awards ceremony at the Parc 55 Hotel, people protested including Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network who read the following statement.

 PRESS STATEMENT OF TOM GOLDTOOTH

(Executive Director, Indigenous Environmental Network)

Behind the backs of the People of California,

Gov. Brown advances a policy harmful to Indigenous Peoples and Mother Earth

north-cop-tom-goldtooth0912Despite being awarded, as I speak, for his supposed environmentalism, Governor Brown is moving ahead with a policy that grabs land, clear-cuts forests, destroys biodiversity, abuses Mother Earth, pimps Father Sky and threatens the cultural survival of Indigenous Peoples.

This policy privatizes the air we breathe. Commodifies the clouds. Buy and sells the atmosphere. Corrupts the Sacred.

This policy is called carbon trading and REDD. REDD stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation. But REDD really means Reaping profits from Evictions, land grabs, Deforestation and Destruction of biodiversity. REDD does nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at source. And REDD may result in the biggest land grab of the last 500 years.

The State of California is ALREADY using national forests and tree plantations as supposed sponges for its pollution instead of reducing greenhouse gas emissions at source. The infamous oil giant Shell is using forests in Michigan to offset its refinery in Martinez, California.[i] California is at the vanguard of REDD in the world and posed to do REDD internationally.

REDD is bad for the climate, bad for the environment, bad for Californians, bad for human rights and bad for the economy.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Biodiversity, Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Greenwashing, Indigenous Peoples, Latin America-Caribbean, Pollution, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests

The Rise of the Native Rights-Based Strategic Framework

Note: Clayton Thomas-Muller is on the Board of Directors of Global Justice Ecology Project.

–The GJEP Team

23 May 2013 Source: Canadian Dimension

Our Last Best Hope to Save our Water, Air and Earth

By Clayton Thomas-Muller

Years ago I was working for a well-known Indigenous environmental and economic justice organization known as the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN). During my time with this organization I had the privilege of working with hundreds of Indigenous communities across the planet who had seen a sharp increase in the targeting of Native lands for mega-extractive and other toxic industries. The largest of these conflicts, of course, was the overrepresentation by big oil who work— often in cahoots with state, provincial First Nations, Tribal and federal governments both in the USA and Canada—to gain access to the valuable resources located in our territories. IEN hired me to work in a very abstract setting, under impossible conditions, with little or no resources to support Grassroots peoples fighting oil companies, who had become, in the era of free market economics, the most powerful and well-resourced entities of our time. My mission was to fight and protect the sacredness of Mother Earth from toxic contamination and corporate exploration, to support our Peoples to build sustainable local economies rooted in the sacred fire of our traditions.

My work took me to the Great Plains reservation, Three Affiliated Tribes of Fort Berthold to support a collective of mothers and grandmothers fighting a proposed oil refinery, which if built would process crude oil shipped in from a place called the tar sands in northern Canada. I spent time in Oklahoma working with Sac and Fox Tribal EPA under the tutelage of the late environmental justice warrior Jan Stevens, to learn about the legacy of 100 years of oil and gas on America’s Indian Country—Oklahoma being one of the end up points of the shameful indian relocation era. I joined grassroots on the Bay of Fundy, in an epic battle against the state of Maine and a liquidified natural gas (LNG) producer who wanted to build a massive LNG terminal on their community’s sacred site known as Split Rock. The plant, had it been built, would have provided natural gas to the City of New York for their power plants.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Green Economy, Idle No More, Indigenous Peoples, Oil, Pollution, Tar Sands, Water

Breaking News: Enbridge Line 2 tar sands pipeline leaking near Viking, Minnesota

By Brendan Demelle, April 24, 2013. Source: DeSmog Blog

images_0Enbridge’s Line 2 pipeline has leaked an estimated 600 gallons of crude oil at its pump station near Viking, Minnesota. Line 2 was built in 1956 and has a history of spills. Regulators ordered Enbridge to reduce its Line 2 operating pressure in October 2010 following the company’s Kalamazoo River tar sands spill.

The Enbridge Viking pump station also receives oil from the Alberta Clipper (aka Line 67 pipeline) that carries heavy crude oil and tar sands bitumen from the Alberta tar sands region south from Hardisty to Superior, Wisconsin and refineries in the midwestern United States.  According to a link provided by Enbridge subsequent to this story’s original posting, Line 2 begins in Edmonton and carries petroleum products, including crude oil, from Edmonton to Superior. Both lines pass through the Viking pump station.

The U.S. Coast Guard National Response Center website reports the details of theincident, which happened last night:
“1044848″,”1044848″,”1044848″,”INCIDENT”,”23-APR-2013 17:09″,”THE CALLER REPORTED THAT A LEAK ON A PRESSURE TRANSMITTER RESULTED IN A RELEASE OF CRUDE OIL.”,”FIXED”,”EQUIPMENT FAILURE”,”23-APR-2013 15:45″,”18060 203TH ST NW”,”MN”,”VIKING”,”MARSHALL”,”ENBRIDGE ENERGY”,”SOIL”,”OIL: CRUDE”

DeSmog was alerted by the Indigenous Environmental Network, which is en route to the spill site to gather more information. Stay tuned for updates to this post below.
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Occupy Enbridge: Taking a stand on Red Lake sovereign land

By Robert Desjarlait, March 10, 2013. Source: Intercontinental Cry

Photo: Jenna Pope

Photo: Jenna Pope

To the southwest of the Red Lake Anishinaabe Nation, lie desolate, wooded lands that were opened for settlement and home-steading under the Agreement of 1889. In 1945, Oscar Chapman, Assistant Secretary of Interior, signed an Order of Restoration that restored unsold ceded lands of the Agreements of 1889 and 1904 to the Red Lake Band. Although most of the southwestern ceded land was sold during 1889 land rush, several areas remained unsold and were returned to Red Lake, including eight acres located outside the town of Leonard, MN.

In 1949, the Lakehead Pipe Line Company built an underground pipeline on the ceded land outside Leonard. Lakehead was the U.S. base of operations for Canada’s Interprovincial Pipe Line Co. (IPL – owned by Exxon predecessor Standard Oil of New Jersey). Other Lakehead pipelines followed in 1958, 1962, and 1972. In 1998, IPL changed its name to Enbridge Inc., a name that combined “energy” and “bridge.”

On February 28, 2013, Marty Cobenais, a Red Lake member and a Tar Sands organizer for the Indigenous Environmental Network, entered the Red Lake ceded land site. Accompanied by several Red Lake Band members, Native, and non-Native supporters, Cobenais occupied the Enbridge pipelines that were considered to be illegally on Red Lake ceded land.
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Keystone XL: Environmental racism is rearing its ugly head once again

Note: Tom Goldtooth is the Executive Director of Indigenous Environmental Network.  Global Justice Ecology Project works closely with IEN, and stands in solidarity with the below statement.

-The GJEP Team

By Tom B.K. Goldtooth, March 6, 2013. Source: Indigenous Environmental Network

before-after-en-300x99Last Friday, March 1st, in an unexpected move, President Obama’s U.S. Department of State released its draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline (this is the proposed pipeline section from the Montana/Canada border to southern Nebraska, Steele City). The report defies common sense when the U.S. Department of State says “the proposed Project is unlikely to have a substantial impact on the rate of development in the oil sands.” The report understates many of the risks the tar sands pipeline poses not only to the ecosystem, but to the human health of communities living at the source of the tar sands crude oil that will flow through the proposed TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline.

The Department of State is saying it is only a draft technical report and that they’re “not going to come out and make conclusions at this point until we engage with public and get some feedback.” Federal notification of the draft SEIS will be posted this week establishing only a 45-day public comment period.

The Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) stands in support of the statement released last Friday by Chief Allan Adams, of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN), Fort Chipewyan, Alberta, Canada, whose people live downstream from the source of the toxic crude oil that will flow through this Keystone XL pipeline. Chief Adams said of the draft SEIS:

I must stress my extreme disappointment with this report. The fact that the Keystone XL pipeline is deemed as non-consequential simply paves the way for its approval and is directly connected to the unabated expansion of Tar Sands in my peoples’ traditional lands….and the Keystone is a vital pipeline for expansion. Expansion of the tar sands means a death sentence for our way for life, destruction of eco-systems vital to the continuation of our inherent treaty rights and massive contributions to catastrophic global climate change, a fate we all share.”

There is substantial documentation of the devastation of the environment, ecosystem, water, air, and more recently the health of the Native people living in the national sacrifice zone of the tar sands. Evidence of rare cancers linked to petroleum contamination is on the increase. The Alberta tar sands are far away, in another country, but the Obama administration could be making a decision that can directly affect the health and future of the Dene, Cree and Metis’ First Nations people. The U.S. Department of State addresses human rights issues worldwide, however, in this report; it completely ignores its responsibility to apply U.S. policy on environmental justice and its commitment to address human rights.
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Video: International treaty to protect the Sacred from Tar Sands signing ceremony

February 1, 2013.  Source: Four Worlds International Institute

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Video: Idle No More – Clayton Thomas-Muller & Heather Milton Lightening at #J28

Note: Clayton Thomas-Muller is tar sands campaign co-director with Indigenous Environmental Network and sits on the board of Global Justice Ecology Project

-The GJEP Team

January 28, 2013.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Justice, Corporate Globalization, Hydroelectric dams, Hydrofracking, Idle No More, Illegal logging, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Mining, Oceans, Oil, Videos, Water

Statement on Doha Outcomes by Tom Goldtooth of Indigenous Environmental Network

Note: Indigenous Environmental Network is a close partner of Global Justice Ecology Project and one of the leading Indigenous groups organizing against both REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) and the Tar Sands gigaproject in Alberta, Canada.

December 07, 2012

Doha, Qatar - Hurricane Sandy; Typhoon Bopha; the continued melting of the ice in the Arctic directly impacting the livelihood of its Arctic Indigenous peoples and; to drought conditions throughout the world. Mother Earth is speaking. Nature is speaking, but the governmental parties here at COP 18 are not listening.

Indigenous Peoples here in Doha are speaking for the rights of Mother Earth and the collective rights of indigenous peoples who continue to be vulnerable to the accelerating downward spiral of climate change. The indigenous voice has remained firm calling upon the governmental parties to reach agreement on commitments for a stringent global emission reduction regime that would stabilize greenhouse-gas emissions beyond 2013. A weak agreement here in Doha is a death warrant for Indigenous peoples throughout the world.

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Statement from Tom B.K. Goldtooth, Executive Director, Indigenous Environmental Network on the Re-election of United States President Barack Obama

Released 1:00 a.m., November 07, 2012

Bemidji, MN - The Indigenous Environmental Network extends its hand shake to President re-elect Barack Obama. IEN and indigenous communities on the frontlines of environmental and economic injustice will continue to work with President Obama and his administration for the next four years.

Tom Goldtooth. Photo: Langelle/GJEP

We will be vigilant towards building coalitions and alliances to give Obama a mandate from the grassroots people for systems change, not climate change. There has been too much silence from Obama during his re-election campaign on the critical issues of global warming and climate change.

In the words of Tonya Gonnella-Frichner, Onondaga, founder and director of the American Indian Law Alliance in New York City, “Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island have had to live with indigenous silence for over 500 years. The human family can no longer live a game of chance in climate silence or climate ignorance not after the destruction left behind by Hurricane Sandy.”

It is time to create political will from the people of America, from all walks of life, to fight for a just transition away from a fossil fuel economy to an economy that respects Life and Mother Earth. This transition will be based upon implementation of: an indigenous agricultural economy comprised of traditional and healthy food systems; sustainable housing and buildings; sustainable jobs; access to clean water and sanitation; a goal for zero waste management; reform of toxic and chemical regulatory laws; and clean energy, energy efficiency; and natural resource management systems based upon indigenous science and traditional knowledge. 

IEN will build upon the strength of our Native youth, Native Nations, our women and grassroots defenders of indigenous rights and Mother Earth, to mobilize indigenous action to push the Obama administration to adopt the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This declaration sets the minimum standards for real protection for the well-being, dignity and rights of American Indians, Alaska Natives, First Nations of Canada and all Indigenous peoples of the world. The full adoption by the United States of this declarationwould ensure our full and effective participation including the principles of free, prior and informed consent in all governmental decisions that affect our communities, Native Nations and environment.

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